Fantasy Football: Running Back Revival Keeping Playoff Hopes Alive

Jason Kaestner is an intern with “The D and Davis Show” and an aspiring sports broadcaster at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, where he hosts a weekly online radio show called “Spraying All Fields,” it broadcasts Saturdays at 2pm after D and Davis on chicagolandsportsradio.com.

Jason also is a part of the Regal Radio fantasy football league, WARRFFL, he will provide weekly updates on his experience in the league and takes on playing fantasy overall. Read him here throughout the NFL season.

After a solid win last week (101.34 to 73.52), I’m feeling like Michael Corleone in Godfather III — “just when I thought I was out…”.

I’ve played myself back in the hunt for a playoff spot with a 3-4 record in the WARRFFL, but it’s also something of a long shot coming from seventh place going into Week 8 of our League.

Again, Drew Brees was out dueled by my opposition’s starting quarterback but this was unlike a few weeks ago, when the difference between a win and a loss was strictly Peyton Manning dominating while Brees simply played well. Brees did enough to keep pace this time, scoring 25.04 in comparison to Aaron Rodgers’ 26.82 points. That I can live with.

Another Saint, running back Mark Ingram, played an even larger role in this week’s win. Ingram proved I was right to carry the injured running back for several weeks on my bench and he busted out for 175 total yards and a touchdown. Combine that with a serviceable-to-solid performance from Joique Bell and my running back position is no longer a weakness but a team strength.

Getty Images Sammy Watkins has emerged as a fantasy go-to in his rookie season.

Getty Images
Sammy Watkins has emerged as a fantasy go-to in his rookie season.

It was a risky move benching Julio Jones in a difficult match-up against the Detroit Lions, and it paid off. Jones scored the fewest points of all my wide receivers, while Sammy Watkins shined again with 21.70. Thankfully, this time Watkins was actually in my starting lineup.

Elsewhere, Doug Baldwin added a steady 6.10 points, and my faith in Cordarelle Patterson was rewarded too as he bounced back to chip in a season-high 9.60 points while starting at the Flex position.

I didn’t make all the right moves, though. For a second straight week Julius Thomas performed poorly. Martellus Bennett’s effort in the dreadful Bears loss to the Patriots would have gained me 13.20 more points than Thomas. Luckily, my choice of starting tight end was not the difference between winning and losing. And really, it’s difficult to be frustrated with Thomas’ dip in productivity considering he started the season at a record-setting pace.

Looking ahead to Week 8, my options are limited. I have four players on bye weeks: Watkins, Jones, Bennett and Bell. There are literally only two decisions to make. Do I start Colin Kaepernick or Brees? Definitely Brees.

Then at Flex, will I be starting my recent acquisition Michael Crabtree or will I choose to start Ryan Mathews should he actually suit up to play this week? That’s a tougher choice — a true game time decision.

Week 8 still feels like a must-win situation. I’m not nearly as frustrated as last week, but I’m also not as invested as I was during the early weeks. Half a season of fantasy football experience leads me to the conclusion that there are no true experts at this. Fantasy football is far too arbitrary far too often.

WARRFFL Recap, Week 8

WARRFFL Managers: Black Unicorns (Kyle Means, Commish); Chi Town Runnin Apes (Pharoah, The Varsity Show); Rolling Irsay’s (Davis, D & Davis); Englewood’s Finest (D, D & Davis); Scoop B (Brandon Robinson); Knuckle Sandwich (Champ, The Varsity Show); STAFers (Jason Kaestner); Hurryin’ Hoosiers (Kevin Luchansky); Fist of Fury (Daryl Daniels); Sidney’s Team (Sidney Brown)

Standings

Rolling Irsay’s 6-1

Fist of Fury 5-2

Hurryin’ Hoosiers 4-3

Sidney’s Team 4-3

Chi Town Runnin Apes 4-3

Black Unicorns3-4

STAFers 3-4

Knuckle Sandwich 2-5

Englewood’s Finest 2-5

Scoop B 2-5

This Week (With Thursday Points)

Black Unicorns (4.0) vs. Englewood’s Finest

Rolling Irsay’s vs. Knuckle Sandwich (14.30)

Chi Town Runnin Apes (13.34) vs. Hurryin’ Hoosiers (3.0)

Scoop B vs. Fist of Fury

STAFers (47.08) vs. Sidney’s Team (4.60)

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio; follow Jason on Twitter @JFKaestner

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